Watch out Brain Jacques... here comes Christopher Amick! If any of you are Redwall fans, you may enjoy the short story below that Christopher wrote to fulfill an assignment for his writing class. I was quite pleased with his zestful use of words - the thesaurus is his friend!
Christopher is a regular reader of the Redwall books and found his inspiration from the many stories and characters he has enjoyed within those pages. He was also inspired by a another classic story that you may be be familiar with... see if you can bring it to mind as you enjoy Christopher's original installment to the Redwall writings!
Reed the Red Becomes A Better Fox
by Christopher Amick
A long time ago in the Moss Flower Woods where clan animals lived, there was a certain clan that had an utterly vain fox. Since *culled at birth to be known as Reed the Red he was chief of many ferrets, weasels, stoats, foxes and rats. One day two scoundrels, a stoat named Black Fang and a ferret called Jade Eyes decided to try to procure leadership of the clan with a bold plan of deception. Enthusiastically the deceivers went to the chief, Reed the Red, and said "Because we are talented tailors, our desire is to create a cloak for you that is exceptionally glamorous! The material would possess the wonderful quality of being invisible to the simple-stupid-headed creature." Reed the Red thought that this would be stupendous even though he already assumed most of his clan members were dull-witted, he thought it could still prove useful. Then the fox chief, who was a bit stingy inquired, "How much will this magical cloak cost?" Regarding this question, the stoat named Black Fang stepped forward and answered, "It will cost many sapphires..." "And cold coins!" added the ferret. "Let it be done, but it must be ready by the time of my clan feast six days from today in Moss Flower Woods," Reed the Red decided.
That night the two fablers used bone needles falsely sewing and clipping away at thin air, they continued this for three days. Now it came that Reed the Red wanted to know how the cloak was coming along, so he sent his captain to check on progress. As the captain arrived, the tricksters were cutting imaginary fabric with their scissors. Dramatically they pretended to hold something as the captain approached them. "Doesn't it look colorful?" they questioned. "Oh yes!" the captain replied, even though he could not see a thing. The false weavers explained the patterns and colors of the cloak in great detail to the captain before he departed. He did not want the chief to think him a fool so he reported all that the cloak weavers had related to him of their three days of work. The next day, Reed the Red came with his captain to view the cloak. The chief could not see the cloak, but agreed with the weavers about everything, then left. About morning the cloak was finished. Reed the Red merrily waited for the cloak weavers to show up. When they arrived, he asked if he could try it on. Black Fang and Jade Eyes pretended to adorn the chief with the cloak. Reed the Red then suspiciously stated, I cannot feel anything on my shoulders." The vermin weavers replied, "that is because the material is so light." They proceeded.
When the day of the feast arrived, Reed the Red was wearing his new cloak (although he really wasn't) and all the clan beasts were praising it, even though they honestly could not see anything of the sort! Forbid they be thought stupid! Anxiously they continued to praise the chief and his supposedly fabulous cloak. A ratling (which is what they call baby rats), suddenly squealed, "there is no cloak!" Everyone stopped eating, slowly every other creature began to agree, even the rat captain. The chief fox slowly realized what was truly happening. Clenching his teeth, he immediately ordered his guards to bring forth the lying stoat and ferret, and sentenced them for life to a newly created official court position... Master of sock,diaper and underwear wash and repair. They were supplied with plenty of real fabric and thread to sew with until the end of their wretched lives. Throughout his lifetime Reed the Red always remembered how proud and vain he had once been, and became a better fox because of it.
*culled: named, called, christened